Group Members: Giulia Zefilippo, Ziqi Guo, & Imra Ali
2020 turned the world upside down due to COVID. This month we completed 1 year of the pandemic. During these struggling times, people’s mental health has been triggered.
As a group, we decided to tackle this assignment by applying this real-world issue. In this workshop, you will create a self-reflection and meditation wearable.
How does it work?
The design is activated by a meditation pose. The experience begins with sound activation. A silent timer goes off but light animations are shown. Assuming that the person using the wearable has their eyes closed, the lights are meant for people around them to not disturb. Once the timer is complete, another sound will be played which means the person can release from their pose.
- Long sleeve or button shirt
- 2 x Sewing needles
- Regular thread
- Conductive fabric
- Conductive thread
- Circuit Playground Express + USB cable
- Washable marker or Fabric Pencil (optional)
- Scrap paper (optional)
- Tape (optional)
- Sponge (optional)
Where to buy materials
The materials listed above can be found either at home, local stores, or online. Amazon, Creaton, and Digikey are perfect placed to find conductive thread, conductive fabric, and the Circuit Playground Express.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Collect and prepare
Begin by collecting all the materials. After, prepare the sewing materials by threading the needles with regular thread and conductive thread.
Step 2: Cutting fabric and preparing guides
Using scrap paper, create and cut two identical shapes. Next, trace the two shapes onto conductive fabric and cut them out. These shapes will be placed on the sleeves of your shirt.
Step 3: Placement of guides
The paper shapes created in the previous step will act as your guides.
Tape the guides onto each sleeve.
The guides should touch each other when your arms are crossed and your hands rest on your shoulders. Below is a picture of the pose.
Step 4: Placement of conductive fabric shapes
Once the placement of the guides is correct, trace each shape using a washable marker (or fabric pencil). Remove the guides and place the conductive fabric shapes into the traced locations. Using regular thread, sew the fabric into place.
Step 5: Placement of the CPX
Using regular thread, sew the Circuit Playground Express onto the mid-chest or shoulder area. In our tutorial, we sewed the CPX onto the collar of our button shirt.
Step 6: Sewing a pathway with conductive thread
Using conductive thread, you’ll connect the CPX to the conductive fabric placed on your sleeves.
Begin by sewing around pin A3 to secure a strong connection. With the thread attached, sew down the sleeve to the closet conductive fabric. Ensure there’s a strong connection with fabric before cutting the thread.
Repeat the above process but with the GND (ground) pin.
IMPORTANT: When sewing pathways to the conductive fabrics, ensure they do not touch each other. If the threads touch, the circuit will be triggered and our product will not work.
Step 7: Uploading code & trying it out
Once the construction is complete, connect your micro USB wire to your computer and uploaded the below code. Scroll down to learn how the code works
Voilà! Now take a seat, close your eyes, hold the crossed armed position, and enjoy this soothing mindful meditation.
Step 8: CPX Covering (Optional)
To add personality and uniqueness to your creation, take a sponge and draw a shape with it. Next, cut it out and tape it to your CPX. The sponge’s layers and the CPX’s built-in LED light delivers a beautiful combination.
How does the code work?
The code used to create this meditation wearable is quite simple. A switch was created when you used the conductive thread to connect the CPX to the conductive fabric.
In the code, we indicated that if A3 and GND are connected then activate the meditation code. In the bracket, volume, brightness, medley, and timer are set. It begins with a medley being playing. Next, 5 light animations are shown for 60 secs each. After a secure connection for each light animation, a medley will go off to indicate the timer has finished. Of course, if there’s no connection between A3 and GND nothing will happen.
Link to the tutorial video + code
Related tutorials & works cited
How to get what you want. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=6706
Plusea. (2017, November 09). Conductive thread pressure sensor. Retrieved from https://www.instructables.com/Conductive-Thread-Pressure-Sensor/
Push_reset. (2017, October 10). How to work with conductive fabric. Retrieved from https://www.instructables.com/How-to-Work-With-Conductive-Fabric/